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I’m always excited to witness the results of collaboration. When people work together across boundaries – focusing their energies on big-ticket problems that no single group can overcome alone – the results can change the world. We see it when governments collaborate with their citizens, and now we’re about to see it in the collaboration between IBM and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to create the world’s largest and most comprehensive cancer patient registry.

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The joint effort will begin in sub-Saharan Africa, where less than 1 percent of the region’s
1 billion-plus population is included in a cancer registry. Registries provide governments, health workers and researchers with the data they need to develop, deploy and evaluate effective policies for cancer control. More immediately, cancer registries save lives by giving health care providers the information they need for intervention and customized care.

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November 18th, 2013
8:00
 

On Tuesday, November 19, I testified before the full U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee on the importance of improving the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to better prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. This is the major source of federal support in the U.S. for career and technical education (CTE).

Congressman John Kline, Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, with IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Stanley S. Litow

Congressman John Kline, Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, with IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Stanley S. Litow

CATCH THE REPLAY:
Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs:
Improving the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act

You can contribute to the ongoing conversation on this topic by using hashtag #perkinsIBM.

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Just days before today’s conference in North Carolina about giving all high schoolers early access to college and skills and a pathway to careers, President Obama gave the concept a boost by visiting a school in New York City that epitomizes the positive aspects of the “early college” movement but also advances the model. When I talk to 500 educators, policymakers and educators today at the National Early College Conference, co-hosted by Jobs for the Future and North Carolina New Schools, I will explain why this innovative education model has captured so much interest and why it takes the promising model of early college to the next level.

Catch the livestream of my talk today at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, and read my op-ed in today’s Raleigh News & Observer about this important issue.

Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation. Mr. Litow is a former Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools.

Related Resources:

Livestream of Mr. Litow’s NECC Address

Raleigh News & Observer: Taking the Early College Concept a Step Further
in NC

President Obama Visits P-TECH

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October 25th, 2013
7:00
 

President Barack Obama addressed the students and faculty of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn, New York on Friday,
October 25, 2013.

Replay of President Obama’s P-TECH Speech (via New York Times)

In his February State of the Union address, the President praised the academic rigor and job-force relevance of P-TECH, saying “We need to give every American student opportunities like this.” To help make that happen, Mr. Obama’s 2014 budget includes a $300 million investment to help America regain the lead in college attainment and ensure the creation of a productive pathway from high school to college and career.

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Opened in September 2011, P-TECH is a collaboration among the New York City Public Schools, The City University of New York and IBM. An open-admissions, grades 9 – 14 institution, P-TECH provides a rigorous academic and workplace skills curriculum leading to a no-cost associate degree in technology and preferential consideration for jobs at IBM. The P-TECH model has been so successful that five similar schools have opened in Chicago, four more are planned for New York City, and New York State will rollout 16 new P-TECH-model schools in 2014.

Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation. Mr. Litow is a former Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools.

Related Resources:

Watch President Obama’s Speech (replay via New York Times)

Transcript: Remarks by the President on Investing in America’s Future

Follow @citizenIBM on Twitter

Learn More About IBM and P-TECH

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The recently released Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and National Center for Education Statistics survey of cognitive and workplace skills confirms the unfortunate truth about America’s poor standing among the world’s industrialized nations. American adults scored far below their counterparts in Japan, Finland, Australia and Germany on math literacy and problem-solving skills, and the U.S.
is falling behind competing nations in the race to obtain job-related skills.

In my latest article for The Huffington Post, I examine America’s skills crisis and offer concrete strategies for how government, educators and employers must work together to reshape our approach to skills training, and begin the next great era of American progress.

Related Resources:

Huffington Post: Skilled for Life?: The Training Americans Need to Succeed

Innovating to Strengthen Youth Employment

Why It’s Critical to Connect Education to Jobs

DOWNLOAD: “STEM Pathways to College and Careers: A Development Guide” playbook

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October 9th, 2013
8:00
 

Imagine a city in which cognitive systems – tools to gather and analyze massive amounts of data from such sources as embedded street sensors, traffic cameras power grid usage indicators – will augment human capabilities to aid decision making. In this type of Smarter City, municipal authorities will be able to improve traffic flow, entrepreneurs will be better able to understand and mitigate risk, and ordinary citizens will be able to interact with (and benefit from) their cities as never before.

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Imagine also that cognitive technologies like those in the IBM Watson system that won on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! will enable new levels of sophistication and effective service from civic organizations, nonprofits and skilled volunteers – not to mention disaster preparation and recovery. These are just some of the promises of cognitive cities.

It may sound like science fiction, but the movement already has begun. Read my recent Forbes article “New Tech Will Change the Way Cities and Businesses Solve Problems” for a deeper explanation of how cognitive systems will transform life in the world’s smarter cities. Then check out the references below to see what mayors and other city leaders are saying about how IBM technology and expertise is making their cities smarter…today.

Katharine Frase, Ph.D., is Chief Technology Officer of IBM Smarter Cities.

Related Resources:

Learn more about cognitive systems. Download a free chapter from Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing (forthcoming)

Find out more about the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

Read what mayors are saying about the Smarter Cities Challenge program

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Across the U.S. and around the world, the staggering problem of youth unemployment can be difficult to judge accurately because many young people have yet to enter the workforce. What we do know is that unemployment among the young is greater than 50 percent in countries such as Greece and Spain, and perhaps greater than 30 percent in some cities and states in the U.S.

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In my recent article “Innovating to Strengthen Youth Employment” (Innovations, MIT Press, October 2013), I examine the following factors to shed some light on the causes of youth unemployment and how communities, educators and employers can address them:

  • What are the roots of youth unemployment, and why is it that increased high school graduation rates have not translated into greater employment and earnings?
  • Where are the jobs, and what types and levels of training are (and will be) required for young people to participate in the 21st century economy?
  • How can we drive innovation across an educational system that hasn’t evolved significantly since the Second World War?
  • What are the pathways to prosperity that can clarify and streamline the next generation’s journey from high school to college and career?
  • Where should we begin to ensure that proven programs for success are properly funded and made available to all?

The answers may surprise you. But even more encouraging is the fact that addressing and overcoming these challenges is well within our reach. If we allocate the proper resources and make strategic use of programs already in place, we will realize significant and quantifiable benefits.

Related Resources:

DOWNLOAD: Innovating to Strengthen Youth Employment

IBM SmartCloud Helps New York State Connect Education to Jobs

Reinventing High School to Connect Education to Jobs

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent announcement of 16 new “early college” technology-focused high schools based on IBM’s P-TECH model has implications far beyond state borders. A national study by the Brookings Institution concludes that half of all STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) jobs are “middle skill” positions requiring postsecondary training but not a four-year degree. And the U.S. Department of Labor reports that the American economy will create 14 million new middle skill jobs over the next 10 years – on top of the 29 million jobs that exist right now.

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It has never been more imperative that we heed President Obama’s call to transform American education and strengthen our global competitiveness. Community-minded employers must forge partnerships with educators and governments, and strengthen the connection between education and jobs.

Read my op-ed in the Albany Times-Union for the full story about how visionary leadership and collaboration will help the nation’s young people realize their dreams for productive and prosperous futures.

Linda Sanford is IBM’s Senior Vice President for Enterprise Transformation.

Related Resources:

Albany Times-Union: A Middle Path to Success

STEMblog STEM Woman Leader of the Day: IBM’s Linda Sanford

Governor Cuomo Announces Public-Private Partnerships to Prepare More than 6,000 Students for High-Skill Jobs

The Pathway from Education to Employment in New York State

Brookings Institution: The Hidden STEM Economy

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New York’s educational system enters a new era of effectiveness with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement to create 16 new grades 9 – 14 joint high school/community college programs across the state. Each of New York State’s 10 economic development zones will receive at least one new school based on the model that has been so successful with the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in New York City and the Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy and other schools in Chicago. These new schools – each a partnership among the Governor’s office, The State University of New York, The New York State Education Department and its school districts, and IBM and a host of other companies – will represent a critical step toward bringing a new world of opportunity to the young people of New York State.

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Graduates of the new P-TECH-model schools will receive both a high school diploma and a postsecondary associate degree in technology – preparing them to enter the rapidly expanding “middle skill” job market for people with postsecondary training, though not necessarily a four-year college degree. The curriculum for each school will be developed in collaboration with that school’s corporate partner. This unique combination of academic rigor and career focus has captured the attention of educators, employers and legislators across the U.S. – including President Obama, who called for more schools like P-TECH
in his State of the Union address
; the City of Chicago, which opened five P-TECH-model schools last September; and New York City, which just announced plans to open five
more schools
.

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IBM’s SmartCloud Brings Relief to Storm-Ravaged Areas

In the aftermath of one of the largest and most destructive storms to strike the heavily populated U.S. East Coast, IBM responded with pro bono consultants, strategies for both an immediate and long term response to disaster relief and recovery, and all of the technology and expertise needed to help establish the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Among the solutions donated to the fund and other key agencies in New York and New Jersey coping with the disaster was the SmartCloud for Social Business, which created the infrastructure necessary to launch immediate relief efforts, and will provide the cloud-based social collaboration tools that will sustain the fund during the long term recovery efforts.

“Because of IBM’s knowledge and expertise, the Fund is able to provide relief to New Jersey families and communities in an efficient and effective manner.”
– Hon. Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey

This is just one of many initiatives described in IBM’s 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report, which outlines corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs aligned with the company’s Smarter Planet strategy to protect the environmentstrengthen education and economic developmentenable humanitarian research, and improve the quality of life in cities around the world.

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